No Changes At The Top This Week
After last week’s announcements that every major conference was all in on the 2020 season this week was a little calmer. However we did get some news that both the Bahamas and Hawaii Bowls would not be played due to travel and health concerns. If you look back to last week’s projections we had Florida International and Miami (Ohio) in the Bahamas and the homestanding Rainbows playing Western Kentucky. As a result of travel we’re removing Hawaii altogether and will try to find homes for the other schools. Again the fact the NCAA is waving minimum eligibility requirements makes things even tougher to predict. However we at Last Word On College Football have never backed down from a challenge. With that in mind let’s begin our Bowl Projections Following Week Five.
College Football Playoff
Sugar Bowl- January 1st- (1) Clemson vs. (4) Florida- As we said in the intro these games remain unchanged from last week. The Tigers had a little tougher than expected time against Virginia winning 41-23. On the other side of the ball Dan Mullen’s Gators jumped out to a big lead then held on for a 38-24 win. The Tigers host Miami next week while Florida travels to Texas A&M.
Rose Bowl- January 1st- (2) Ohio State vs. (3) Alabama- We thought about flipping the seeds for this game after the Crimson Tide’s 52-24 win over Texas A&M. However in the end we left it as it’s been the last couple of weeks. The Buckeyes finally kick off the season in a little over two weeks against Nebraska.
College Football Championship- January 11th- (1) Clemson vs. (2) Ohio State- As we mentioned before a battle between these two squads is an epic must-see match up.
Moving on with our bowl projections following week five it’s time for the New Year’s Six games and there’s some movement in these games.
New Year’s Six Games
Cotton Bowl- December 30th- Oklahoma State vs. BYU- We’ve got a totally new match up for the game in Arlington. Because of their big win against Oklahoma the Cowboys get the bid. As a result of Central Florida’s loss we’re moving the Cougars up to the Group of Five representative. We also looked at Cincinnati and SMU.
Peach Bowl- January 1st- Georgia vs. Miami- This game remains unchanged from a week ago. The Bulldogs looked much better on Saturday blowing out Auburn 27-6. The Hurricanes had the week off before facing Clemson on Saturday night.
Orange Bowl- January 2nd- Notre Dame vs. Penn State- The Irish hope they can play against Florida State this week despite continuing problems with COVID-19. The Nittany Lions finally get their season started on October 24th when they travel to Indiana.
Fiesta Bowl- January 2nd- Oregon vs. Wisconsin- For this game we have two teams who haven’t yet started their season. The Badgers move up after Auburn’s ugly loss at Georgia. Again it’s doubtful a Pac 12 team makes the playoff so the Ducks head to Arizona.
Now that we’ve finished the top bowls let’s move on as we do every week to the games played on December 31st and January 1st. Going through the rest of the games it’s interesting to see how the SEC plays out. As of right now we have 11 teams going bowling. However as the teams beat each other up every week it’s going to change.
Games Played on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day
Citrus Bowl- January 1st- Auburn vs. Michigan– The Tigers drop after their bad loss at Georgia. Usually we don’t like to have a team play in the same bowl two years in a row. However for this week we’re making an exception for Jim Harbaugh’s club.
Outback Bowl- January 1st- Iowa vs. Tennessee- Can you guess the team with the longest active Power Five winning streak? If you chose the Volunteers you get a prize. The Hawkeyes are the fifth team from the Big 10 off the board.
Alamo Bowl- December 31st- Texas vs. Washington- It’s unlikely the Longhorns make it back to a New Year’s Six game but with the Big 12 this year you never know.
Arizona Bowl- December 31st- Toledo vs. San Diego State
Duke’s Mayo Bowl- December 31st- Indiana vs. N.C State
Liberty Bowl- December 31st- Kentucky vs. Oklahoma- Coming off their first two game losing streak since 1999 it’s conceivable the Sooners drop this far. The Wildcats dropped a game they should have won to Ole Miss. Mark Stoops’ club needs a win this weekend against Mississippi State. These two teams last played in 1982.
Tony The Tiger Sun Bowl- December 31st- Arizona State vs. Wake Forest
Continuing our bowl projections following week five we move on to the games after New Year’s Day.
Bowl Games After January 1st
Birmingham Bowl- January 2nd- Arkansas vs. Memphis- When you break a 20 game conference losing streak as the Razorbacks did on Saturday, your reward is a post season game. Even though they are neighbors they haven’t played each other since 1998.
Gator Bowl- January 2nd- LSU vs. Virginia Tech– The Tigers looked much better on Saturday in a 41-7 blowout of Vandy. In addition having Derek Stingley Jr. certainly helped as well.
Idaho Potato Bowl- January 3rd- Buffalo vs. Wyoming
Armed Forces Bowl- January 4th- SMU vs. TCU
Lending Tree Bowl- January 6th- Appalachian State vs. Ball State
Bowl Games After Christmas
First Responders Bowl- December 30th- Houston vs. Baylor
Music City Bowl- December 30th- Minnesota vs. Ole Miss
Cheez-It Bowl- December 28th- Iowa State vs. North Carolina
Cactus Bowl- December 27th- Northwestern vs. West Virginia
Holiday Bowl- December 2th- USC vs. Virginia
Texas Bowl- December 27th- Kansas State vs. Mississippi State
Pinstripe Bowl- December 27th- Nebraska vs. Pittsburgh
Military Bowl- December 27th- Navy vs. Syracuse
Quick Lane Bowl- December 26th- Central Michigan vs. Michigan State
Independence Bowl- December 26th- Army vs. California
We wrap up our bowl projections following week five with the 11 early season bowl games before Christmas. Remember the NCAA said in theory games could start as early as December 1st, though that’s highly unlikely.
Early Season Bowl Games
Gasparilla Bowl- December 23rd- Cincinnati vs. Georgia Tech– As a result of a nice win over South Florida the Bearcats remain in the hunt for the Group of Five. However for now they are heading to Tampa.
New Orleans Bowl- December 21st- Louisiana vs. Louisiana Tech
Las Vegas Bowl- December 21st- Texas A&M vs. Utah
Cameilla Bowl- December 21st- Miami (Ohio) vs. Troy
Boca Raton Bowl- December 21st- Florida Atlantic vs. Temple
Cure Bowl- December 21st- Tulsa vs. Arkansas State
New Mexico Bowl- December 21st- Air Force vs. Marshall
Frisco Bowl- December 20th- Nevada vs. UAB
Los Angeles Bowl- December 2oth- Boise State vs. Stanford
Myrtle Beach Bowl- December 20th- Central Florida vs. Coastal Carolina- As a result of their loss to Tulsa which snapped their 21 game home streak the Knights drop from a New Year’s Six game down to the inaugural game in South Carolina.
Fenway Bowl- December 20th- Boston College vs. Tulane
That wraps up our bowl projections following week five here at Last Word On College Football. As you can see we didn’t find a spot for either Florida International or Western Kentucky. However Hilltopper and Panther fans don’t fret there’s still two more months of projections before it’s official.